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My filipina wife and I are planning on moving to Tagaytay. Have a host of questions:
Is it easy and safe to have my retirement checks sent to a filipino bank? Are there other, smarter alternatives? Would we get a better price on a rental if my wife negotiated the price without me (not advertising she is married to an american), is it wise to get a place with A/C ONLY in the bedroom and maybe living room or can it be affordable to get A/C in most rooms? Any idea on the crime rate in Tagaytay? Medical care/facilities in Tagaytay? How much impact do typhoons have on Tagaytay? Guesstimate on cost of living - looking for a two or three bedroom place. Other than Baguio are there other alternatives for a place to live where the climate is a little more tolerable? For daily/weekly normal expenses, are people using debit cards to get cash? Credit cards??
If I have no foreign transaction fee on my credit card is it wise to continue using it and pay my monthly expenses online using my bank in the usa? Any other thoughts on living/moving to Tagaytay are appreciated.
 

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My filipina wife and I are planning on moving to Tagaytay. Have a host of questions:
Is it easy and safe to have my retirement checks sent to a filipino bank? Are there other, smarter alternatives? Would we get a better price on a rental if my wife negotiated the price without me (not advertising she is married to an american), is it wise to get a place with A/C ONLY in the bedroom and maybe living room or can it be affordable to get A/C in most rooms? Any idea on the crime rate in Tagaytay? Medical care/facilities in Tagaytay? How much impact do typhoons have on Tagaytay? Guesstimate on cost of living - looking for a two or three bedroom place. Other than Baguio are there other alternatives for a place to live where the climate is a little more tolerable? For daily/weekly normal expenses, are people using debit cards to get cash? Credit cards??
If I have no foreign transaction fee on my credit card is it wise to continue using it and pay my monthly expenses online using my bank in the usa? Any other thoughts on living/moving to Tagaytay are appreciated.
Yes, Tagaytay is a good place to live in Cavite Province, it is cooler there. Yes, it is safe to have your pension checks automatically deposited in a Filipino bank, i.e., MetroBank, BDO, BPI, PNB, etc., and the US Embassy in Manila Citizens Services/Social Security Administration can give you the necessary forms to do it with. You will need to get the 1x1 ID Photos which will be pasted to your bank application. Tagaytay is relatively safe and I have heard of no problems there. There are medical facilities in Tagaytay but you can't use MediCare here. Tagaytay is 1,100 meters e;evatopm on the rim of the Ta'al Volcano which is active but is the smallest active volcano in the Philippines. Lake Ta'al is very nice to view from Tagaytay, especially if you are visiting the Palace in the Sky. Tagaytay is 1 hour away from General Trias which is where I live with my wife. You should have no problems with obtaining a VISA/MASTERCARD ATM Debit Card from your bank and you want this account separate from your pension account. As long as you feed the ATM account, you will be fine. I highly suggest that you rent a house unless you have a Filipina spouse where, together, you and she can buy a house, she will own the land the house sits on, you will own the house. Remember, however, if you are over 55 years of age you cannot get a bank loan to buy a house. Cost of house will depend on which part of Tagaytay you choose to live in and the amenities that are available. Even in Tagaytay, never go out alone at nighttime, and never go down into a dark alley.
 

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JimnNila143 gave you great advice and very complete! You can also do online transfer of you money from a US bank to a Philippine bank. City bank does not charge for a transfer from you US Citi bank to a Phil Citi Bank. Wells Fargo also has a deal with several Philippine banks or you can deposit checks but that takes 3 weeks to clear. The nearest place medical is accepted is Guam so very important to keep emergency money for medical, no money no medical! If you use your US Debt cards at am ATM you are tied to the bank’s low exchange rate, Use it only for emergencies. I have used my USA credit card 1 or 2 times, again the bank determines the exchange rate.
 

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My wife and I have our home there. We are not yet fully retired so at most we get to be there only 3 weeks a year.

I will add, from my limited experience, Tagaytay is a weekend getaway town. Traffic is usually pretty bad on those two days.
 
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